In a society where the socioeconomic structure is becoming worryingly pyramid-shaped when everyone had hoped it would become olive-shaped, there is a glimmer of hope: Women are becoming increasingly S-shaped. The Shanghai Daily reports:
The chest circumference of Chinese women increased by nearly 1cm in the past 10 years, the Beijing College of Clothing Technology said in a recent report that studied changes in figure for Chinese women in the past decade, China News Service reported.
The first thing that comes to our minds is what was not reported about the findings. For example, the study found that northern Chinese women are still the tallest in the counry — but decline to inform us of what region of China is the most horizontally endowed! And more about the study:
The college has concluded with data collected from nearly 6,000 women in the last six years that Chinese females are inclined to boast an S-curve silhouette, something which is commonly regarded as an attractive feature.
In fact, it seems that the “S-curve” has become a fairly popular term — we found this and this and this on the aesthetics of and techniques for achieving that coveted “S-shape”. And there’s plenty more if you Google these terms.
One centimeter in 10 years — in a country of five-year plans and a torrid pace of GDP growth, this might not seem like much. However, rest easy knowing that your (heterosexual) male grandkids and great-grandkids are going to have it much better than you.
Of course, with an overzealousness similar to those trying to attain that S-shape, some girls are gunning for an “I-shape.” Consider what happens when an anorexic 15-year-old girl wants to sign up for the Super Girls competition and goes from 44 to 25 kg and eventually starves herself to death. Sure, it’s not fair to lay that at the feet of the Super Girls — maybe learning to embrace that tomboyish, androgynous “I-shape” is a good thing for some people, as it begets a self-esteem based on acceptance of who they are.
Don’t forget that China also has a serious problems with its increasing “O-shaped” population. According to this study, 22 percent of Chinese people are overweight and three percent of them are obese. We guess that although we love McDonald’s breakfasts, there are other people who are lovin’ it a little too much. But when people like Wang Lihong (the pop star, who despiting being “chinked-out” is an American and ought to know better) and Guo Jingjing (a diver and athlete who ought to know better) make commercials for the Golden Arches, is there anything left to be surprised about?